La Quoc Khanh, vice director of HCM City Tourism Department said, the city’s inland waterway tourism is less developed as it lacks of a specific plan. The number of travel agents conducting river cruises dropped from 24 in 2014 to 19 in 2015 with around 72 cruise ships.
The city is currently operating big tourist vessels like Elisa, Ben Nghe and Sai Gon. The biggest tourist vessel in HCM City, SaiGon Ship can accommodate 600 passengers at a time.
Chiem Hoang Long, Director of Binh Quoi Tourism Village which owns SaiGon Ship, said traffic safety is the top priority. The ship is given maintenance on a regular basis. The company has coordinated with relevant agencies to conduct rescue exercises and handle all problems to ensure safety for passengers.
According to HCM City Traffic Police Department, since early this year the department has closely worked with relevant agencies to check all passenger, cruise and cargo ships and hydrofoils operating on inland waterways, focussing on ports and cruise terminals to ensure traffic safety and strictly fine any violations.
To minimize waterway traffic accidents, the municipal traffic safety board has asked traffic police and inspectors and port and wharf managers to conduct regular check of vessels and floating restaurants.